Chennaiite designs cloth Gandhi stamp for N Korea

By P T Usha Published on Jul 27, 2018 02:51 PM IST

Ramesh Ethiraj

Chennai: Are you 80s-90s born person? Then, definitely, you must have heard of stamp collection. Yes, back then, stamp collection was everyone's favourite hobby. But, for Ramesh Ethiraj, a resident of Karambakkam, in Porur, stamp collection was a life-changing habit.

Meet India's official stamp agent for foreign countries, Ramesh Ethiraj, who recently designed a stamp on Mahatma Gandhi on the centenary of the Khadi Movement (1918), which was released by the North Korean government.

The philatelist said, "We have been doing this for the last two generations. My grandfather started this as a hobby and my father joined him with his own stamp collection. I grew up seeing them collecting stamps. So, naturally, I developed interest in the hobby."

Ramesh is the first Indian to design a stamp for a foreign country. He is the stamp agent for six countries.

"More than 100 countries have released Mahatma Gandhi's stamp. So, we requested North Korea to release a stamp on the Father of the Nation. At first, they asked for the design and a proper reason to unveil it at this time," said Ramesh.

The silk cloth stamp

He further stated, "We described the historic importance of Khadi Movement and informed that it has completed a century. Also, the speciality of the stamp is that it would be done using silk cloth. In our country, stamps are made only of paper, while in other countries they come in different materials like silver, plastic, etc. Also, they need not be square like how it is here. They come in different odd shapes. So, this is the world's first silk cloth-based, odd-shaped stamp."

"In future, I want to recommend global leaders and represent incidents on stamps," he added.

 Philatelist Ramesh Ethiraj said, "Technology has ruined stamp collection. Before these inventions, many people used to collect different match boxes, telegrams, pebbles, etc. Currently, some NGOs and India Post conduct workshops for students to develop interest in stamp collection."